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Mild conditions turn snowmobile trails to muddy paths with more warm weather on the way


While many may relish the recent sunshine and warmer temperatures, for snowmobilers, this mild weather is anything but enjoyable.

"This is unusual for us to have February upon us without any open trails in the area," said Arthur Christakos, Baxter Snow Riders president.

The unseasonable conditions have transformed once snow-covered trails into muddy paths, disappointing both trail groomers and riders alike.

"We're all committed to this sport; we love it so much, but Mother Nature really controls what we can do," said Christakos.

Christakos said they had a couple of good weeks... that didn't last long. 

"That effort by the volunteers has largely been wasted, and we'll start over again and see what we can recover from," he added.

More Mild Temperatures

Unfortunately, the forecast offers little solace for winter enthusiasts.

"With the lack of snow, it's almost as if winter was cancelled this year," said Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips.

In the Barrie area, temperatures are expected to continue to climb to 9C on Friday.

"That's about eight degrees warmer than normal. On Friday, we see a chance of rain showers, not snow showers, that's rain showers, so any snow that's sitting around will probably be melted," said Phillips.

Outdoor ice rinks are also facing challenges with the warmer conditions, with all volunteer rinks currently closed in Barrie.

But Phillips said there is still a glimmer of hope.

"We still get, on average, 100 centimetres of snow. About a third of our annual snowfall occurs after the first of February. So my sense is we haven't finished shovelling, ploughing and pushing and don't be surprised if the second half of winter is tougher than the first half," the weather specialist said.

And for those hoping to skate in the City of Barrie, you're still in luck - two refrigerated outdoor rinks remain open at Will Dwyer Park and at the City Hall rink. Top Stories

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